Sri Lanka becomes 82nd country to join World Bank human capital project

The government of Sri Lanka is committed to accelerating larger and better investments in human capital – health, education and social protection – becoming the 82nd country to join the World Bank’s Human Capital Project.

At a high-level human capital summit held today, at least 12 ministers and ministers of state, secretaries and secretaries of state, as well as several senior officials, including the director general of the ministry of Finance, met in person to discuss priorities for accelerating investments. in human capital for increased productivity and future economic growth, and enable green, resilient and inclusive development. The event also attracted around 200 virtual observers connecting from around the world and based in Sri Lanka.

“Investing in people is at the center of our government strategy and is essential to ensure a successful recovery from COVID-19. We will continue to prioritize investments in human capital, to improve early childhood education, achieve universal primary and secondary education, increase access and quality of higher education, as well as education. technical and professional, improve the quality of the health system to face future health challenges and support vulnerable individuals and families through Samurdhi and other safety nets and employment programs, ”said Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance.

Sri Lanka’s strong human development performance is reflected in the country’s relatively high Human Capital Index score before COVID-19, which is higher than the South Asian region and global averages. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on human capital accumulation in Sri Lanka, including job losses, a devastating learning crisis and worsening malnutrition. This led to an increase in poverty and vulnerability, especially among groups who lack coping mechanisms and were already disadvantaged.

The World Bank is helping the government of Sri Lanka address its human capital challenges through targeted commitments in health, education and social protection, aligning with the strategic framework National Government of Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor.

“Protecting and investing in people will be essential for Sri Lanka’s recovery from the pandemic and for boosting future productivity and economic growth,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank vice president for the pandemic. ‘South Asia. “Sri Lanka’s membership in the Human Capital Project is timely for the country to protect its hard-won gains. The World Bank stands ready to support Sri Lanka to accelerate human capital development and pave the way for more inclusive and resilient growth.

The Human Capital Project is a global effort to accelerate investments in people for inclusive economic growth. He advocates for investing in next generation human capital; provides access to a measurement, research and analysis program that helps invest and protect human capital; and supports peer learning for countries as they develop and implement fast-track priorities for human capital development.

Committing to the cause of accelerating investments in people, the ministers attending this event made the following statements:

“Investments in education are essential to achieve higher levels of human capital outcomes for Sri Lanka. Our ministry has done everything possible to provide inclusive early childhood education and school education for all children. The opportunities to receive quality higher education and vocational training help increase productivity, resilience and improve labor market outcomes. We look forward to working with the World Bank to invest in children and youth to realize their potential to contribute to the economy, ”said the Hon. Dinesh Gunawardene, Minister of Education.

“A healthy population is the foundation for improving a nation’s human capital. It is essential to prioritize investments in nutrition at every stage of a human’s life and to ensure a responsive and robust health system. efficiency, quality and governance of health service delivery, ”said the Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella, Minister of Health.

“Security and the restoration of jobs and incomes will be at the heart of Sri Lanka’s recovery from the pandemic. We need more ambitious policies and programs to address these challenges, as well as effective social protection strategies and social insurance programs. Sri Lanka can fully benefit from investments in human resources. capital in improving labor market programs, especially for migrant workers. We look forward to working with the World Bank to improve Sri Lanka’s labor market programs, social protection and labor policies to realize the full potential of all Sri Lankans, ”said Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva, Minister of Labor.

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